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This paint failiure diagnosis article explains that clues found indoors can help explain both exterior building paint failures (especially bubbling and peeling paint) as well as interior paint failures. An interior paint diagnostic checklist found here describes common building interior surface painting mistakes and lists visual clues that help diagnose paint failures on building most surfaces.
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This article series reviews common building exterior & interior painting mistakes, describes how to diagnose paint failures on buildings, and outlines a procedure for diagnostic field inspection & lab testing of failed painted surfaces. We include photographs of paint failures on buildings and more photos of forensic paint laboratory examination of samples of failed paint useful to assist in diagnosing the probable cause of each type of paint failure.
Although outdoor sun and weather exposure are not a significant factor in indoor surface paint failures, many building interior paint & coating failures are similar to other causes of exterior paint job failures in their origin and cure, including bad surface preparation, incompatible paints, etc. Readers should also see Paint Failure Case Photographs-SITE and then Paint Failure Case Photographs-LAB. and see PAINT & STAIN GUIDE, EXTERIOR for a guide to the selection and proper application of paints and stains on exterior wood surfaces.
Our page top photo shows popcorn-style ceiling paint in good condition. Textured ceiling paints, including the spray-on "popcorn" type coatings that were used into the late 1970's may contain asbestos and should be handled accordingly if the surface is being stripped or demolished.
The diagnosis and cure of paint failure on building interior ceilings, walls, floors, trim, and other surfaces is quite possible if there is a careful and thorough inspection of the building, its history, its surfaces, and the actual points of paint failure. It is diagnostic to compare the same coating on the same type of surface at different locations on a building and in areas of failed and not-failed paint.
List of Indoor Clues that May Explain Exterior Building Paint Failures
Here is our list of clues that help diagnose the cause of both indoor paint job failures and some exterior paint failures. Additional clues that can help diagnose an indoor paint problem are at STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS. If you are diagnosing a building exterior paint problem also see PAINT FAILURE - EXTERIOR CLUES.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about how to diagnose, cure, & prevent peeling paint failures on buildings - clues found indoors can diagnose exterior paint failures.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.
Paint & Fiber Forensic Analysis, Diagnosis, Conservation